Spacious studio apartment interior
Anyone who doesn’t own a home is forced to content with pretty steep rental rates. In California, you need to make $26 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. In a city like Long Beach, studio apartments are often the more sensible choice.
You can have your cake and eat it, too, if you follow a few simple apartment guidelines. Go into your search with a plan and a list of things you need to have. When you know what your limitations are, you can set your expectations and come out with a place that you’re happy with.
Searching for the Best Long Beach Studio Apartments
Before you answer any ads or go look at any apartments, make sure you sit down and go over everything. Here’s exactly what you should be looking at before, during, and after you rent.
What’s Your Max Budget?
How much of your income can you put towards your rent and utilities? You need to set a solid figure, so you aren’t digging through apartments that you can’t afford. Once you have a max budget in mind, you can narrow down your search by average utility costs.
When you get into the interview stage, you’ll need to inquire about utilities included and energy-efficient appliances. These things can make a huge difference on what you consider affordable or not. The ideal apartment may be more expensive for base rent, but it might be $50-100 cheaper on utilities.
Know Your Credit Score
Another obstacle in the way of many people searching for Long Beach studio apartments is credit. Your credit score could affect your budget and access to better units. Check your credit now to see if there’s anything on there that can be erased or settled to improve your score.
Don’t assume that just because you have very good, or better, credit, that you don’t need to check it. Credit scores can fluctuate enough to put you just below the threshold for applicants looking to get into the best units. Get your free FICO credit report from the official FTC-endorsed website.
Negotiate for the Best Rates
If you’re looking at multiple apartments, all with similar costs, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Let the landlord know that you’re finding it difficult to choose between apartments. Ask them if they can make you a better offer on rent, utilities, or other amenities.
One place might have a superior view while lacking similar amenities. It’s not a reach for landlords to try to accommodate potential tenants. Just ask, even if they say no to your proposals, you’ll still be within your budget.
Carefully Read Contracts
Not all apartment contracts are created equal. Some landlords bite off a bit more than others, especially with regards to liability. Check to make sure everything is fair and clear about penalties for breaking lease, causing damage, and etc.
Double-check the lease expiration date, make sure it is for the length you’ve agreed upon. Pay attention to your security deposit requirements and how it will be returned to you. Read what the landlord considers grounds for termination.
How are minor and major repairs handled? Will the landlord allow you to sublet, run an AirBnB? Is renters insurance required? What is their pet policy?
That new apartment smell is intoxicating but don’t leave your guard down. When you’re doing a tour of the apartment, stay vigilant and scrutinize everything. Take your time to inspect the pipes, faucets, and appliances for any signs of old age.
If the property manager isn’t replacing important fixtures, then that could be a sign that they will be slow on repairs. Check every light and appliance to make sure everything is snappy and operational. Pay special attention to the AC and heating in the apartment.
Ask how old the HVAC system is–older units will cost more to regulate temperatures and need more frequent repairs.
Survey Your Surroundings
After taking a thorough look at the apartment, you should do the same on the outside. Survey the neighborhood and see what types of local businesses are nearby. Make note of the surroundings immediately outside the apartments.
Is it a highly-trafficked area? Is it secure? What types of future development are being planned? It’s always good to get an idea of any possible changes planned for the area while you’re under a lease.
Talk to Current and Past Tenants
Start by talking to the units adjacent to the one you plan on renting. See what your neighbors are like and what they have to say. Do they like it there? Have they experienced any rent increases? How is their experience with maintenance?
Ask if they’re aware of any past instances of crime in the area. Use this to confirm any local crime statistics found online. You can’t rely on them completely, as security can mean an old iron gate or an active patrol.
Get Renters’ Insurance
This is one of the biggest pieces of advice that one can give to renters. This added expense may not seem worthwhile, but you have to protect your belongings. Mother Nature can cause a lot of unexpected losses, which you’ll be unable to recover without insurance.
Renter’s insurance doesn’t cover every scenario, but it does cover the most common. You don’t need to spend a lot to be properly covered, as little as a few coffees per month can cover all your valuables.
Navigate the ads for Long Beach studio apartments with confidence. Being prepared can help you avoid a lot of risks and pressured decisions when it comes to moving. If you can find your dream apartment without going over your budget, that leaves more room for professional movers, new furniture, the housewarming party, and more.
Start your search today at Grand Terrace by telling us what you’re looking for. Contact us for free tours and also if you need help finding your ideal studio apartment.